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Friday, June 29, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Newt Gingrich's "American Solutions" Sioux City Event

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This morning I arose especially early and trucked it over to Sioux City to Fiona's Firehouse Bistro to attend Newt Gingrich's American Solutions event at 8 AM. The event started at 8 and was slated to last until about 9:30 but I stayed until about a few minutes before 9 because I had work responsibilities to tend to. I had never been to this bistro, but it is actually an old garage/shop and it is very nice inside. I was very impressed. They served up a nice breakfast to a crowd of about 50 or so and there was a pretty substantial press pool in attendance too. Newt's organization, "American Solutions", has a professional cameraman traveling with them that just takes pictures of the former Speaker and guests. They are uploading all the pictures to a Flickr home page where all the pictures can be found. I had a picture taken but they don't have today's pictures up there yet. I will add my picture to this blog posting after it is posted. I spotted some representatives from a few campaigns and also Chairman Ray Hoffman was also in attendance.

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Back Roads to the White House: The Democratic forum -- We Have a Winner!

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Eight Democrats took part Thursday night in an "All-American Presidential Forum" on PBS. But the real action was here on the back roads, where an ALL-STAR PANEL of bloggers from Colorado and Iowa joined forces to provide lively heckling in real time. With one eye on the television and one eye on the computer screen, here's the cross-eyed, instant analysis from what was dubbed the "Colorado Coordinated Couchblog": The group's consensus: Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson did not do themselves any favors. Said Jason Bane of ColoradoPols.com and ColoradoConfidential.com: "The story of the night for me is Obama. I have a feeling he may have really blown a big opportunity tonight. He was in front of a crowd that was just WAITING to explode in support, and he completely bombed." Said Louella Pizzuti of Campaigns of the Future: "Could Richardson have spoken more dispassionately about the need for a Prez with passion?"

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Century of the Common Iowan: Thoughts on the Democratic Forum

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

I participated in a live blog sponsored by the Rocky Mountain News of the Democratic Forum. Also participating were fellow Iowans John Deeth and Essential Estrogen. Here were my thoughts I wrote... The winners were John Edwards and Chris Dodd. Dodd was energetic and really stressed education. As a teacher and member of the ISEA and NEA, Dodd is very credible when it comes to education. He very well respected among educators and might just have the answer to the mess that is NCLB. About Education Dodd said… I'm proud of the fact that I was called the Senator of the Decade by the national Head Start Association. I have walked the walk on these issues. Dodd and Biden were both fired up, however Biden sounded angry, while Dodd was on message and highlighted his experience. John Edwards hit the first question out of the park. He was able to condense his entire two America's theme into that answer and it was well received by the crowd. Edwards didn't stop there. The questions really played right into the issues Edwards is campaigning on and he did very well connecting to the audience. I think Hillary Clinton held her own and definitely did not hurt herself.

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Hawkeye GOP: Amnesty is Dead

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye GOP

The Amnesty Bill is dead — at least for the time being. The people have spoken and for once the politicians listened. Even Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback who had voted for the previous cloture motion voted against it this time. Brownback's previous vote had helped revive the bill originally. Brownback felt that the bill could be amended into a more acceptable form. I don't know what convinced him. Perhaps he understood that no matter what the president called it, the bill was amnesty. Or maybe cynically, he understood that supporting amnesty would be fatal for a candidate attempting to claim the conservative mantle in the upcoming Republican primaries. The Brownback camp is in damage control mode. I have been receiving e-mails from the Brownback camp pointing out that the Senator voted against the cloture motion. In the e-mail the senator is quoted saying: “I voted against the Senate immigration bill because I am not convinced it would fix our broken immigration system and it would most likely repeat the mistakes of the 1986 reform…” I heard Ann Coulter on O'Reilly's show tonight. He pushed her to state that she opposes any plan that would allow someone here illegally to eventually become a citizen.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Will Nussle get grilled by the Senate?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I've blogged about it before over at Political Forecast, but I'm not
too enthusiastic with the way that Senate Democrats have responded to
Jim Nussle's nomination to be Director of the White House's Office of
Management and Budget (OMB). Maybe it is all of the work I did during
the gubernatorial race talking about Nussle's failed leadership on the
House Budget Committee as its chair -- leading us into horrible
deficits, uncontrollable spending, and ridiculous tax cuts for the
richest Americans. Or maybe it is just that we know he's a
confrontational hack who shouldn't be charged with leading such a
complex and tough office, one that requires someone with some kind of
expertise is actual management and appropriate budgeting techniques.
The reality, however, is the that OMB is largely a political office
and it made sense for Bush to pick someone who was willing to give up
the next two years to fight with Congressional Democratic leadership
about the Republican President's budget. Still, the least the
Democrats could do is raise objections to Nussle's past
experience--deficits and debt--and instead call for someone more
inclined to have positive budget experience, yet be known for
compromise and hard work, not hackery.

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iPol: Some Tiers Must Fall

Excerpted from this post at iPol

I've been watching, with interest, the fanfare greeting the news that
New Mexico Governor and Presidential candidate Bill Richardson has
gotten a bump in the polls of late. This started a couple of weeks ago
with the release of a CNN-WMUR TV poll that showed Bill Richardson had
climbed to 10% in New Hampshire, and in so doing moved even with John
Edwards there. Governor Richardson's numbers began to rise after a
widely-praised ad campaign built around a "Presidential job interview"
theme. Then, earlier this week, Richardson's campaign announced that
its own internal polling now shows their candidate at 13% in Iowa,
which, if you disregard the 4.4% margin of error, would put him ahead
of Barack Obama here. Finally today, Pollster.com announced that it
has added Richardson to its "Top Democrats" ranking, based on its
findings that Richardson alone among the candidates is experiencing a
substantial upturn in his numbers in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Richardson's campaign, of course, has eagerly seized on these
developments, today alone sending out not one, but two emails drawing
attention to their candidate's numbers and going so far as to proclaim
"Richardson Officially Breaks into Top Tier."

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Cyclone Conservatives: The Battle for Control: United States Senate 2008

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

It has been over 6 months since I posted my novella on the upcoming
2008 United States Senate races. The post was so long, I thought I
would never finish it, but alas I did. I decided it was time to update
the outlook on the Senate races since we have a little more clarity as
to where the races are headed in terms of challengers and incumbents…
Iowa: Tom Harkin. Oh, I wish we could send Tom and Ruth off into the
sunset of the Bahamas (where their residence is). But alas, we have
yet to recruit a top notch candidate. I've written a few posts about
this race in the past so check out the archives. We know we're going
to see Steve Rathje and Bob McDowell in a Republican primary for sure.
Businessman Bruce Rastetter and former Vander Plaats campaign manager
Troy Cook have been floated. Congressman King has no doubt looked at
the race and Democrats seem convinced that Tom Latham is going to run
after Jane Norman of the Register wrote a story about Tom moving to
Ames but we all know that is old news and Norman is just a year behind
in the times.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Brand New Strategic Vision Iowa Poll

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The Republican oriented Strategic Vision polling firm has let loose
its new results this evening of a brand new poll of Iowans. The
results here are pretty interesting but nothing really terribly
shocking. They surveyed 600 likely caucus attendees of both parties
and there is a margin of error of (+/-4). Strategic Vision, while
conservative leaning, has a tendency to be a pretty well respected
polling outfit. Let's get to the numbers. In the parentheses will be
the Strategic Vision numbers from the last time they conducted the
poll (in May) so you'll be able to see who is moving up, who is
falling down, and who is basically stagnate… Let's start with the
Republicans. Mitt Romney and his campaign have to be pleased because
this is just another poll which has him leading. This is now several
in a row and now he is cemented as the front runner here in Iowa. He
has moved up several points in this poll from the Strategic Vision
poll in May. Though, there is Fred Thompson, not actually in the race,
who is inching closer to him. Fred Thompson is the big gainer in this
poll having shot up an impressive 7 points. Media reports suggest he
is planning a major announcement for next week in Nashville and so
that is likely to put a whole new angle on this entire race.

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Political Fallout: Edwards' Campaign Launches Pre-emptive Excuse Strikes

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

With only five days remaining until the FEC's QRF-Day (that's
Quarterly Report Filing Day for those of you who don't have the
campaign finance lingo "down"), it appears the John Edwards campaign
is concerned about its war-chest intake. The Edwards' campaign set a
$9 million goal for this quarter, but as of yesterday, they're $2
million shy of their mark. To help soften the blow on QRF-Day, the
Edwards campaign has been sending out messages that blame the
Washington establishment and their media pawns (including the New York
Times) for John's fund-raising woes. Strike 1: "Obscene Money Game or
Policies that Matter?" (e-mail message received on Jun. 23 from Joe
Trippi, the Edwards' Campaign). 'But while thousands of people are
building up this campaign, the Washington establishment is trying to
write us out of the race. And their reason? They say it's MONEY - they
don't think we are raising an obscene enough amount. But the truth is,
they don't want people to hear what John Edwards is saying, because it
will mean the end of big money's stranglehold over our government.'
Strike 2: "Haircuts and Hatchet Jobs."

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Bleeding Heartland: Union leaders to oppose "Destiny" tax proposal

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Desmoinesdem has previously written about Project Destiny -- a
tri-county joint venture between Polk, Dallas, and Warren Counties to
increase the sales tax in the three communities by one cent--and urged
you to vote against the plan. And now the South Central Iowa
Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, will announce on Thursday that they plan
to oppose the sales tax increase as well. From an advisory put out
today: "Union leaders say voters should consider that "basic needs"
are not being met in the three-county area. A regressive tax to
finance so-called "quality of life" efforts such as bicycle trails,
they say, should not take precedence over citizens' fundamental
needs." With strong labor opposition, who knows how the effort will
fare on Election Day, July 10th. Discussing and talking about the
proposal is no easy subject. Almost two weeks ago, CityView's cover
story was dedicated to the debate over Project Destiny. The story
offered more insight on the project, its supporters and opponents than
the Register or any other local news stations have offered. I
recommend reading the full story to truly understand the debate behind
Project Destiny.

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John Deeth Blog: Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, and Tax Protesters

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Tom Tancredo is now calling on Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa
Christian Alliance to reconsider and invite Ron Paul to Saturday's
debate. Maybe he thinks this wins some points from the Paul People,
but I doubt it. I would think the libertarian position on immigration
would be open the borders and let employers hire who they want -- the
diametric opposite of Tancredo's "stop legal immigration" view. Paul,
meanwhile, has taken up the cause of two New Hampshire tax protesters:
'Paul expressed his sympathy for Ed and Elaine Brown, who have been
holed up in their hilltop home for several months, threatening
violence if marshals come to arrest them. The Browns have each been
sentenced to 63 months in prison for crimes related to their refusal
to pay federal income taxes for nearly 10 years. The Browns contend
that there is no law compelling Americans to pay income taxes.' On
which count they are so so wrong, says attorney Daniel Evans in an
exhaustive tax protester FAQ. In the Concord (NH) Monitor: "People who
point this out and fight the tax code and fight the monetary code are
heroic," Paul said in a video that's been linked to several pro-Brown
websites.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Richardson Moves Ahead of Obama in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Richardson campaign sent an email out this afternoon with this
surprising bit of information from internal polling they have done…
The Governor has rocketed up 10% among likely Iowa caucus goers in
just three months, and now stands at 13%. No other Democratic
candidate has made gains anywhere close to that over the same time
period. In fact, amongst the likeliest caucus goers (those who
attended the 2004 caucuses, voted in the 2006 primary and are definite
to attend next year's caucus) the Governor has overtaken Senator Obama
for 3rd place. Richardson has been moving for the past few months in
Iowa. It just shows what a couple million dollar of good, creative TV
ads can do. What is surprising about this, however, is that Obama's
numbers are falling in Iowa. He has been traveling the state, doing
smaller events, yet he isn't moving up in the polls. The Richardson
campaign is also saying they will outraise John Edwards this quarter.
If they do and if they are ahead of Obama in Iowa, I think it would
mark that Richardson has officially entered the 2nd-tier and is
knocking on the door of first-tier status.

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Essential Estrogen: Dodd Raises Eyebrows in Cedar Rapids

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

It might seem disingenuous to say a 63-year-old politician has come of
age, but that's exactly what Sen. Chris Dodd appears to have done. On
Monday night, while addressing roughly 40 members of the Linn Phoenix
Club in the home of Cedar Rapids Mayor Kay Halloran, Dodd, who has
been lacking spark on the campaign trail, found his box of matches.
His display of humor and forcefulness of character seemed to catch
many off-guard. "Any jackass can kick down a barn door," Dodd said
while discussing needed reforms in America, prompting eyebrows to dart
up across the room. "It takes an architect to build the barn. And
we've had too many jackasses in this country." While Dodd covered many
issues including Iraq, education, immigration, the environment,
medicare/medicaid, and problems facing minority-run business during
the stop, he was able to intertwine them around a central theme of
putting America first.

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iPol: 2008: How Desperate are Republicans?

Excerpted from this post at iPol

The big question right now among Republicans is how to remove Vice
President Cheney from office. Or so says Sally Quinn in an op-ed piece
in today's Washington Post, shockingly titled, "A GOP Plan to Oust
Cheney." Are things really that bad among Republicans? You bet they
are. The GOP is still reeling from its epic defeat in last year's
elections, and lives in daily dread of next year's contest for the
White House. It isn't hard to understand why. Just take a look at the
candidates fielded by each party. For the Democrats: Joe Biden, a
Senator with awesome policy chops; Hillary Clinton, already a
political legend whose star is in all probability still rising; Chris
Dodd, who is rapidly becoming a one-man idea factory in this campaign;
John Edwards, with proven populist appeal; Barack Obama, the ultimate
political rock star; and Bill Richardson, with as impressive a resume
as any person who has ever sought the Oval Office. For the
Republicans: a crop of anonymous pols so generic and colorless that
one of their own number coined the definitive collective moniker of
dismissal for them all: Rudy McRomney.

Back Roads to the White House: A dollop of hope for Tancredo and friends

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Why is this man smiling? Because he really loved playing lunch lady at
a Republican Party barbecue in West Union, Iowa, on Sunday? Perhaps.
But Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado also was smiling this weekend
because he finished third in the Linn County Republican Party's straw
poll in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday. The big winner: Former Gov.
Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin - 33.1 percent. Followed by: Sen. Sam
Brownback of Kansas - 30.4 percent. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado -
15.5 percent. And the Linn County also-rans: former Gov. Mitt Romney,
4.7 percent; businessman John Cox, 4.1 percent; Rep. Ron Paul, 3.4
percent; former Sen. Fred Thompson, 2.7 percent; former Mayor Rudy
Giuliani, 2 percent; David Gilbert of North Carolina, 2 percent; Rep.
Duncan Hunter, 1.4 percent; former Gov. Mike Huckabee, 0.7 percent.
(Zero percent for Sen. John McCain and Hugh McCort). It's only one
county, and the results are just a symbolic measure of who can turn
out the vote when they try. But it's something.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Ron Paul Debate Exclusion: Much Ado About Little

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
The internets are ablaze with righteous indignation that libertarian slash GOP longshot Ron Paul has been excluded from Saturday's Iowans for Tax Relief/Iowa Christian Alliance debate. The conspiracy minded even note that Iowans for Tax Relief's Ed Failor Jr. is a major McCain backer. But McCain's not even showing up. And the Daily Iowan, while also objecting to Paul's exclusion, makes the point no one else has bothered to mention: "Romney, the debate's "front-runner," has the support of a whopping 12 percent of GOP voters, according to a June 20 poll conducted by Newsweek. Huckabee, Thompson, Brownback, Tancredo, and Hunter and are polling at an abysmal 4, 2, 2, 1, and 0 percent respectively." ... by joining a forum of second and third tier candidates, Romney runs the risk of reducing himself to their level. Meanwhile, Paul is playing the classic card of the uninvited, holding a counter-debate event immediately following. Such events usually rally a candidate's own die-hards, but are rarely if ever persuasive. Paul's protestation of exclusion from this bush-league event reeks of the paranoid.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Ron Paul To Hold Competing Event Against ICA/ITR Forum

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
I have received literally dozens of e-mails from very angry and very irate Ron Paul supporters in the past week. Why? They do not like the fact that the Congressman was not extended an invitation to the Iowa Christian Alliance/Iowans for Tax Relief Forum to be held next Saturday in Des Moines at Hy-Vee Hall. ... I'm not sure there is a more active right-netroots movement out there than Ron Paul's. They are active everywhere. Well, the Ron Paul people have spoken. They are going to hold their own event. In Hy-Vee Hall. Immediately following the ITR/ICA event. Apparently they are getting vast quantities of RSVP's already. They are saying they will give out food to the first 500 people that show up. ... I am glad to see the Congressman is coming to Iowa. I will be attending both events in Hy-Vee hall that day. Expect a full re-cap on this blog after it all transpires.

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Essential Estrogen: Debate Prompts Change in Fire Fighters' Convention

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
An Iowa City event which had drawn a great deal of national attention has been partially postponed to allow presidential hopefuls who are also U.S. senators to travel back to the beltway for debate on a bill. The Iowa Professional Fire Fighters State Convention was to host presidential hopefuls Tuesday and Wednesday. Gov. Bill Richarson, Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Hillary Clinton confirmed they would be in attendance. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden was also scheduled to appear and represent his father, Sen. Joe Biden. There was also speculation that Pres. Bill Clinton would appear beside his wife for the event. The fire fighters have decided to postpone this portion of their convention when it was learned the event conflicted with debate on the Employee Free Choice Act.

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FromDC2Iowa: Prez Mason & Now What? - Life Goes On

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa
... Executive Compensation ... The Governor, the legislature, the Board of Regents, the Search Committee, and leaders of business all say we "need" to pay university presidents these days in the $500,000 to $1 million range. I'll leave it to them to draw the conclusion that our new UI president is worth that much. Regents President Gartner says she is "a steal at that price." OK. ... During the 1960s and 1970s, when I was traveling to Japan fairly regularly, I noticed (initially in the shipping and ship building businesses) that the Japanese executives were paying themselves what seemed to be about five times what the crafts people earned. They told me this was not only perfectly adequate, but was an essential part of their corporations' success. ... Iowa (my home state, where I am living by choice and of which I am mostly proud) seems to be following policies generated by business people and legislators who think it's somehow possible to "create good paying jobs" while simultaneously preventing every effort of workers to organize into the unions that would enable them to get that "good pay" for the jobs they are doing now. Ultimately, trying to produce "economic growth" by holding down the pay of 80 percent of the work force and then handing over these "savings" in labor costs to the wealthiest 2 percent as "profits" can't last forever.

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Smoky Hollow: Renewable Fuels Supporters Tout Ethanol at Iowa Speedway

Excerpted from this post at Smoky Hollow
It was a big day for Iowa supporters of renewable fuels, with the first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 250 held at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. An estimated crowd of more than 35,000 attended the race, and it was watched by a nationwide television audience on ABC. Lead sponsors of the event were the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, highlighting the fact that Indy league cars are all fueled by pure ethanol.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Wonkette: Tommy Thompson Appoints Colin Powell to be Secretary of the State of Make-Believe

Excerpted from this post at Wonkette

Tommy Thompson announced in Iowa last night that in his imaginary
administration, he would appoint Colin Powell to be Secretary of State
again. Because that worked out so well the last time! Colin Powell, of
course, hadn't been consulted about any of this, but it doesn't really
matter as it's all in the elaborate fantasy world of a deluded
man-child anyway. Other picks for the Thompson cabinet: Secretary of
Transportation: Spider-man. HUD Secretary: Ghost Rider. Secretary of
the Interior: Abraham Lincoln. Secretary of Time Travel: Mr. Peabody.
Secretary of Agriculture: Mr. Peanut. Defense Secretary: Spider-man 3.

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The Real Sporer: Steve King has 'em, why don't more of us?

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

We are in a war, a very big war against a weird coalition of enemies
who mostly share only two goals: dominance of the global economy by
controlling the Middle Eastern oil supplies and the annihilation of
Israel. The enemy has both state and non-state actors. While all don't
share a long term desire to actually physically destroy the United
States, some do and all wish to limit American power and prosperity.
Our Founding Fathers anticipated such wars because they had all
survived the very bloody and brutal civil war that we call the War for
Independence" or the "Revolutionary War". Everything we daily see and
read about Iraq are dwarfed by the cataclysm our own first civil war.
So John Adams, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton knew something about what
it takes to win a big national war. Part of that wisdom was the
obvious need for national unity in all things diplomatic. The first
rule of victory is the value of conquest by division. A nation cannot
have a majority and minority diplomatic position-it can only have one.
Again, this is either a premise in which one believes or not. I
believe the Adams, Jay and Hamilton types probably were right-they
usually were.

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John Deeth Blog: Brownback Live Blogging: Cedar Rapids

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

11:23 and hello. Our venue for the morning slash afternoon is the
Elmcrest Country Club on the north side of Cedar Rapids where we're
awaiting Sam Brownback. Elmcrest is the home course of Iowa's most
famous golfer, Masters champ Zach Johnson. There's a large shrine in
the entryway, right outside the dining room where the Linn County
Republican Women are having lunch. Channel 2 appears ready for Live At
Noon coverage. Speech was originally announced for 11:15 or 11:30 but
now looks more like 12:15 or 12:30. 12:03 and things are starting.
Steve West has a lot of stories. The former Hiawatha mayor is now
parade chair for the Linn County GOP. West's family settled in Iowa in
the pre-territorial era and ran a bank "until 1933 when Roosevelt took
it away." Steve committed to Brownback early, but also likes the
Thompsons Fred and Tommy. "The Republican Party is kind of up for
grabs now," he says. "I hope the conservative wing doesn't sit it out
if someone like Giuliani gets it. We need to stick together and keep
Hillary of Obama or Edwards out of there."

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Back Roads to the White House: Absence makes the fans grow louder

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

We're not sure what form it's going to take, but trouble could be
headed to Des Moines, Iowa, next week. Why? Because blogroots darling,
Republican Rep. Ron Paul, has been excluded from a candidate forum on
June 30 and his fans are burning up "the Internets" pledging to make a
show of force. "Let's make all the news be about Ron Paul so that
(the) event is a side note," someone posted at the digg.com entry on
the growing brouhaha. The Des Moines Register's intrepid reporter,
Thomas Beaumont, has the story today: "The decision by a tax watchdog
group in Iowa to keep some presidential candidates from attending its
political forum in Des Moines next week has led to a barrage of angry
responses from supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, one of the
Republicans seeking the GOP nomination. Paul, a Texas congressman,
will not be among the six GOP candidates scheduled to speak at the
June 30 event in Des Moines. The forum at Hy-Vee Hall is jointly
sponsored by the Iowa Christian Alliance."

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Joe Republican: Giuliani Back After Snub... How did he do?

Excerpted from this post at Joe Republican

Rudy Giuliani returned to Iowa today for his first visit since he
declared he would not participate in the Iowa Straw poll. Since this
announcement he has fallen back marginally in the polls and I was
interested to see how he would use this visit to mend the fences he's
broken in the state. Giuliani did a great job of explaining how he
would cut spending in Washington and remained humble about his past
successes. He's a fiscal conservative who's strong on national
defense, but is that message enough to win the Iowa Caucus? Giuliani's
visit to the state was a great opportunity for him to turn the tide of
his campaign in Iowa and energize his followers. Unfortunately, he
broke one simple rule that only rubbed more salt in the wounds of Iowa
Republicans; he was extremely late. Giuliani was supposed to speak at
10:30, but didn't arrive until 11:20. When holding a late-morning
weekday event, it is imperative to start on time. People have left
work to see you and don't have a lot of time to waste. Iowan's disgust
for this lack of class was evident at the event. I saw a number of
people leave the event before Giuliani arrived, because they had to
get back to work. Many who came to give Rudy a second chance, were
disgusted with the tardiness and grumbled that this wasn't the way to
gain support.

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Price of Politics: Giuliani Leaves Health Advocates Feeling Sick

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Some health advocates (most with the Partnership for Better Health, I
believe) say they got the brush off from Rudy Giuliani during his
campaign stop in Des Moines (his first visit to the state since his
campaign announced he would not take part in the Iowa Republican Straw
Poll). They weren't pleased from the start since the event began more
than a half hour late. Giuliani took no questions from the crowd, and
according to the health care'ers, he walked past them as they tried to
talk with him about his commitment to improving health care for people
with chronic disease. One woman did tell me she didn't completely get
ignored. As she tried to hand the Mayor a packet of health care
packet, he instead reached out and grabbed her "12 Commitments"
handout from his campaign. Then, he signed it and gave it back to her.
I could also mention the post-speech debacle in an adjacent room where
we reporters were permitted to speak with Rudy G. Unfortunately, there
was no podium for our several dozen microphones. We were told the
campaign also didn't want lights illuminating the event (at least
according to one of the equipment workers).

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Essential Estrogen: Woman to Take Over at Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

KWWL is reporting that the Iowa Board of Regents will be naming Purdue
University Provost Sally Mason the next University of Iowa president
tomorrow during their meeting in Iowa City. If true, Mason will
succeed David Skorton, who left the university to become president at
Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. She would also become only the
second woman to serve in this post. (Mary Sue Coleman was the
university's first woman president. She held the office directly
before Skorton and served from 1995 to 2002.) University Relations has
reported the Regents are expected to make their decision at 3 p.m.
Following the meeting, the new president will be introduced to the
community in Iowa Memorial Union's Richey Ballroom. This event is open
to the public and will be broadcast by UITV on its Iowa City and Cedar
Rapids cable stations. There will also be a live video stream provided
at mms://winmedia.uiowa.edu/events once the event begins. As Purdue's
provost, Mason has been responsible for all of the academic school and
programs on the West Lafayette Campus and academic program oversight
for each of the regional campuses. In addition, her office is
responsible for the coordination of activities in the offices of
student services, continuing education and conferences, international
programs and the graduate school.

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Blog for Iowa: Calls for Verifiable Voting

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson issued a call for a verifiable
election in 2008. Governor Richardson's essay urging passage of HR 811
was published Monday in the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill:
http://thehill.com/op-eds/a-reliable-verifiable-vote-in-2008-2007-06-19.html.
Take a moment to thank him for his leadership on verifiable elections,
and sign a petition to members of Congress to pass HR 811. Mr.
Richardson knows something about making big changes to voting systems:
in 2006 he oversaw New Mexico's conversion to a statewide paper ballot
system in a matter of months. HR 811, near a vote in the House, will
require voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory random hand audits
by 2008. Computer scientists who study voting systems have concluded
that these measures are crucial to protecting the vote. Unless federal
legislation passes, at least 13 states are likely to use paperless
electronic voting, either exclusively or extensively, in the 2008
election. Iowans can play an important role in protecting the 2008
vote.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Political Fallout: President Bush names prodigal son, Jim Nussle, White House budget director

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

Jimmy the Hustler is BACK... in D.C.!!! After padding his resume with a
failed Iowa gubernatorial bid and running Rudy Giuliani's presidential
bid into the ground as his top consultant, President Bush's prodigal
son is returning home to his adoptive father. Throw in Nussle's
failures as House Budget Committee Chair -- while serving underneath
his adoptive father's watchful eye -- into the mix and what do you
get? Answer: A job as the White House Budget Director, that's what.
Now that's some serious hustling. Political Fallout contacted Jimmy
the Hustler ("Nussle & Flow"), who released the following statement:
We tried to work our hustle in Iowa, but these folks ain't buying.
Apparently, they weren't too hip about the prospects of my better half
driving 'em into bankruptcy. They're not buying my boy Rudy's New York
hustle either, so it was only a matter of time before Jimbo was bound
to take his A-game back to D.C.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Hot off press: New Mason-Dixon Iowa poll

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Mason-Dixon Independent Polling unleashed a new Iowa Poll this
afternoon and the results are very telling. Several things jumped out
at me. Since I am not a subscriber to Mason-Dixon's website, I have
not had a chance to look at the margin of error, who they asked, how
big the sample was, and all the other important facets that need to be
looked at in order to see how credible the polling data is. Not all
polls should be treated equally. However, Mason-Dixon has been around
a while and has done a good job in the past with predicting outcomes
so therefore I think you have to look at the results as though they
might carry some weight. With that being said, there are some
candidates that have to be giddy and some that have to be very
concerned. Perhaps the most telling result of this poll is the heavy
quantity of 'undecideds' in both parties. Lets get to the numbers.

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Bleeding Heartland: Mason-Dixon Iowa poll: undecided, Clinton, Edwards, Obama

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

A new Mason-Dixon Iowa poll was released today. Of 400 likely
Democratic caucus-goers, 27 percent said they were undecided, followed
by Clinton with 22 percent, Edwards with 21 percent, Obama with 18
percent, Richardson with 6 percent, and Biden with 4 percent. The
Clintonistas are triumphant over at MyDD, confident that Teresa
Vilmain is already delivering the goods for Hillary, and that Bill
Clinton's three-day campaign swing through Iowa in early July is going
to seal the deal. Wishful thinking, in my view. I have a question for
Bleeding Heartland readers: how many undecided voters do you know who
have NOT ruled out Hillary? I know exactly two, out of scores and
scores of undecided Iowa caucus-goers I have talked to over the last
two months. If 27 percent of Iowans really are undecided (and I
wouldn't be surprised if the true proportion of undecideds is higher
than that), then Hillary is going to fall behind once they make up
their minds.

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Back roads to the White House: Breaking news Blooms

Excerpted from this post at Back roads to the White House

What's up with the Hizzoners today? The Associated Press is reporting
that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving up his Republican
Party registration and plans to re-register as an unaffiliated voter.
This, of course, pours fuel on the rumors that the mega-millionaire is
preparing to mount an independent bid for president. Not so fast, he
told reporters today. He still has a job to do in New York City. But
what do you think? Meanwhile, all this is happening on a day when the
former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, has lost his most high
profile advocates in both Iowa and South Carolina. First, came word
that his man in Iowa, former Congressman Jim Nussle, was being been
tapped by President Bush to replace the departing Rob Portman as
Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Then came news
that his fellow down in South Carolina, state Treasurer Thomas
Ravenel, has been indicted on drug charges.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blogger reaction to Nussle's White House appointment

Click below to read blogger reaction to today's announcement that former U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle has been nominated as the White House's next director of the Office of Management and Budget

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Century of the Common Iowan: Obama in Newton

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

I just got home from seeing Barack Obama in Newton. The event wasn't
packed like others I had been to, but there was a large crowd of
probably 300. Obama spoke for about 25 minutes and began by discussing
this movement that is about more than just him. Obama mentioned over
and over the need for people to get involved in helping solve these
problems. He said he has had large crowds of 20,000 people in Austin
and South Carolina and 10,000 in Iowa City. He said we can make our
health care system more efficient by using electronic medial records,
fixing No Child Left Behind by putting more resources into the
classroom. Obama said teachers want to teach. They didn't get into
teaching to get rich. Obama then transitioned into higher education
saying students want to go to college, but need to get them the
resources so they can afford it. He discussed the need for trade
agreements that work for the American worker and not just corporations
and he mentioned he voted against CAFTA. He talked about providing tax
breaks for companies that keep jobs here and mentioned the Maytag
plant closing.

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Joe Republican: McCain campaign on the brink of collapse?

Excerpted from this post at Joe Republican

Many Iowa conservatives have viewed the course of events in Iowa over
the last few weeks and questioned what impact Giuliani and McCain's
withdrawal from the Iowa Straw Poll will have on their respective
campaigns. I gave my predictions that McCain will cut staff and
Giuliani will simply have a skeleton staff in the state. In speaking
with a source close to the McCain campaign, I was recently told,
"Things are not looking good." With fundraising disclosures coming out
soon, my guess is McCain will report a number similar to last quarter,
about $12.5 million. This is not good news considering last quarter
was called "A weak performance". As a co-sponsor of the unpopular
Immigration Bill in the Senate, McCain has driven yet another wedge
between himself and Iowa conservatives. My source said, "While he's
not out yet, it's going to be extremely tough." The sole reason
McCain's campaign is struggling is not simply because he dropped out
of the Straw Poll, but it definitely hasn't helped.

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Bleeding Heartland: Vote No on "Destiny" tax proposal

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Those of you who live in Polk, Dallas or Warren counties will get a
chance to vote on the "Destiny" tax proposal on July 10. David Elbert
describes the basics in this piece in the Sunday Register. The concept
is, the sales tax would go up from 6 percent to 7 percent in the three
counties. One-third of the revenues would go to "property tax relief,"
one-third to fund cultural attractions like bike trails, and one-third
to local governments to use on whatever they want. The Register
coverage has been mostly cheerleader pieces on how great an idea this
is, and how "Yes to Destiny" would help fund the things that make Des
Moines a great place to live. They've been mostly dismissive of
opposition as based on knee-jerk anti-tax sentiment, or on mistrust of
local governments because of things like the CIETC scandal. As much as
I hate to find myself in agreement with the Grover Norquist wing of
the Republican Party, I strongly oppose this tax proposal.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Just remember: Bush appointed Roberts and Alito

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

We're approaching the end of the Supreme Court term at the end of the
month. It has been almost two years since Sandra Day O'Connor
announced her retirement and in September, it will be about two years
since Justice Rehnquist passed away. In the past 2 years, we have also
seen the appointment of two outstanding justices in Samuel Alito and
John Roberts. Those picks will ultimately be looked up as the
highlights of President Bush's years in office. Right now, President
Bush is not getting very much love at all from liberals and he's also
not getting a lot of love letters from conservatives. While George is
maintaining his strong hawkish positions on terrorism and national
defense (which many conservatives still strongly admire about him),
there seems to also be a number of conservatives who have fallen off
that bandwagon too. Right now, there are a lot of angry conservatives
who believe George Bush is taking a terrible approach to immigration.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Edwards Calls for Halt on Coal Plants in the Backyard of Proposed Coal Plant

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

John Edwards called for a halt on coal-fired power plants in Marshalltown, where a proposed $1 billion, 600 mw coal-fired power plant is being proposed by Alliant Energy. Edwards said... "...we need to use coal sequestration technology and not build anymore coal plants until this technology is available." I assumed Edwards was not informed about the proposed power plant in town when I first heard this comment. However, after the event, I overheard a local reporter ask if Edwards was aware of Alliant's proposed coal-fired power plant. Edwards said he doesn't believe in changing his position based on what town he is speaking in. This makes me think Edwards knew about the plant was once again taking a principled stand on the issue.

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Cyclone Conservatives: John Edwards in the Land of Ice Cream

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I saw Edwards in December of 2003 when he made a campaign stop in Primghar, IA. I would have to say that the Edwards of 2007 is nothing like the Edwards of 2003. In 2003, he maybe could have passed, once in awhile, for the 'moderate' title he got then from the media. Now, there is absolutely nothing 'moderate' about him. He's perhaps the most liberal 'credible' candidate in the group. Perhaps only Gravel and Kucinich are more out there (but they really aren't even credible). ... Edwards would ultimately like the government to become nearly, if not all, involved in health care and energy issues. He said that America produces one of the worst health care products in the world. When he produces these sorts of incredible statements, you obviously have to first wonder what box he has been living in, and then wonder if he really thinks America is a third world country. Last I checked, there are thousands of people trying to get into this country for operations because they aren't getting the kind of care from their rationed government run bureaucratic mess of a health care system.

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John Deeth Blog: Mitt Romney: Muscatine Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

...Inner city schools "the civil right issue of our era." Health care and portability and preexisting. "The Democrats have their answer: Socialized medicine Hillary care is not the answer." Big applause. Cites Mass. program and private sector. Immigration. "I want to stop illegal" gets interrupted with "yes"s...Praise for troops gets usual applause. Need 100,000 more in military...Should we give people in Gitmo due process? Mitt: "I've been there, it's a fine prison facility." "We don't want them having the kinds of legal rights associated with being on US soil." It depends on the circumstances what their rights should be. We didn't give German POWs in WW2 lawyers.

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Essential Estrogen: Dodd Field Staff Announced

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Sen. Chris Dodd's presidential campaign has completed hiring regional field staff in Iowa and now has a director in eight major regions of the state. While other national campaigns in Iowa have managed to locate at least one women to serve in mid-level field staff positions, none are listed in the Dodd lineup. Dodd's field team is overseen by Ben Rohrbaugh. As Iowa field director, Rohrbaugh will be directly responsible for coordination of the eight regionals. He comes to the Dodd campaign following a successful run as the field director for Chicago city clerk Miguel del Valle. He has previously served on Congresswoman Melissa Bean's re-election campaign, the Christine Jennings recount in Florida, and the John Kerry campaign in Michigan.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

iPol: Town hall envy

Excerpted from this post at iPol

It no doubt sounded good at the beginning: "We'll move our state's
primary up closer to January, and we'll have the same influence in
picking a nominee as Iowa and New Hampshire. Candidates will spend
time here, meet voters here, and will have to pay attention to our
issues, just like they do in Iowa and New Hampshire. Yeah, that's the
ticket!" However, with the bandwagon creaking under the load of so
many states moving their primaries ever earlier in the calendar, the
flaws in this line of thinking are making themselves increasingly
plain. The unintended consequence of all this year's political
leapfrogging is that as more states move up their primaries the
traditional campaign dynamics that were originally meant to be
overthrown are becoming only more entrenched. The definitive case in
point: California. According to an article in today's Los Angeles
Times, rather than producing a string of meet and greet town
hall-style events, or resulting in candidates spending oodles more
time out west, the change in California's primary date has turned out
to reinforce the importance of media, rather than personal appearances
by candidates at town halls or even large rallies, in reaching voters.
Campaigning via television and radio has increased, not decreased. And
the main thing that candidates are looking for in the Golden State?

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Politically Speaking: King's OK

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Here's why you check out a rumor before running with it. Got a tip
that the Bell's palsy that struck Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve
King in March, causing his face to droop, had hung in there and he'd
become a recluse from the public. Heard he'd skipped planned
appearances. We in the press haven't received an invitation to a
public King event in western Iowa for weeks, and I figured he'd be at
the June 8 illegal immigration forum of Tom Tancredo, but wasn't.
Turns out it was all off base. A contact to King's office turned that
tip on it's head. King's palsy is gone and he's out making
appearances. He was in the Orange City Tulip Festival walking the
parade in late May, and he was at the Holstein quasquicentennial
earlier this week. Heck, he's even pictured in the June 10 edition of
the New York Times piece on how a roaring grassroots and talk radio
helped stall the Senate immigration reform bill. There's King on Page
24 looking like the guy we've always known, with petitions with
676,455 signatures opposing the bill, through the "No Amnesty for
Illegals" petition drive shepherded by Grassfire.org. Long story
short, Kiron, Iowa's King is fine.

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Essential Estrogen: Six Iowans to serve on Romney steering committee

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Six Iowans have been tapped to serve on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney's National Faith and Values Steering Committee. Of the six,
only one is female and none of the Iowans will serve as chairs of the
committee. The members are: Kathy Oltmans, Christian activist of
Council Bluffs, Tom Coats, vice president of Truth about Gambling, Joe
Earle, former director of Church and Community Development, Keith
Hunter, member of the board of directors for Iowa Christian Alliance,
State Sen. Dave Johnson, R-Osceola. Of the 50 members of the steering
committee, the campaign has tapped 11 to serve as chairpersons. The 11
leaders hail from Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, New Hampshire, Delaware,
Texas, California, Virginia (two seats) and the District of Columbia
(two seats). Of those key members only one -- former Department of
Justice spokeswoman Barbara Comstock of Virginia -- is female. When
considering the whole list, females hold seven seats or 14 percent.
Besides Comstock and Oltmans, the other women are: Prominent South
Carolina Christian activist Dee Benedict, Author Nancy French of
Tennessee ("Red State of Mind"), Wendy Long of New York, chief counsel
of the Judicial Confirmation Network.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Rudy's 'Commitment to America'

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I received an e-mail in my inbox today from Team Rudy that was another 'Join the Campaign' type of deal. I get about 20 of those a day from both Republicans and Democrats. However, Rudy's was more interesting than most. He had a list of 12 'Commitments' to America. Unfortunately, none of them were a commitment to the Ames 11, 2007 Iowa Straw Poll. Rudy is very ambitious here. I feel like he is promising the world to us. I actually found absolutely nothing in this 'group of 12' that I didn't agree with. While I think this is a nice set of platform platitudes, he'll obviously need to become more detailed. While I think this a nice 'skim over' of his ideas, he also risks sounding like he'll be all things to all people. Here is a rundown of what Rudy is doing. I went through and highlighted the various code words. As you might know, both Republicans and Democrats have established a list of special 'code words' that can easily be spouted in order to get quick applause lines and fire up the base. Rudy's 12 commitments to the American people are: I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists' War on Us. I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation...

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Radio Iowa: Straw Poll: Huckabee sort-of in, Thompson "commited"

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Two of the Republican presidential candidates talked about the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll today.(Here's the Radio Iowa story on Huckabee and here's the Radio Iowa story on Tommy Thompson.) Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson said some of his staff had seriously considered the idea of having him withdraw, but Thompson told reporters (during a telephone conference call) that he was steadfast in his commitment to participate. "I'm curious if you had considered skipping the Straw Poll after Giuliani and McCain got out of it," an AP reporter asked Thompson. "I reflected on it.I would say that my staff considered it more than I did. I never, I never thought about skipping the Straw Poll. I just thought that it was something that I had committed myself to early on. It was really the way we were focusing our campaign to see how well we were doing. It's a barometer of that. It's a test and I never personally, really, thought that we would skip it, but I've got to tell you that the three individuals on the call with me who are probably, I think, the three best knowlegable individuals about straw polls and Iowa politics thought that maybe we should skip it, but then they reflected on it and that's why we hadn't made an announcement because they wanted to consider all the alternatives and they came up with the same conclusion that I did, that this is the right thing."

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Back Roads to the White House: All-points bulletin

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

There's a mystery man out there, and we think former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee might want to send him a thank you note. Why? Because by picketing outside the grand opening of Huckabee's Des Moines headquarters on Wednesday, he signaled that this once obscure southern governor has finally arrived in that high-value target zone where "Rudy McRomney" resides. First of all, Huckabee should be happy that the Iowa penal system sent someone to welcome him to downtown Des Moines. After all, it's a nice distraction from Radio Iowa's exclusive report on Huckabee's recent jokes about miniskirts and thong underwear. More importantly, it accomplishes what Huckabee had tried to do in one of the nationally-televised debates, when he practically begged Republican rival Jim Gilmore to attach his name to that "Rudy McRomney" slur along with front-runners like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. Said Huckabee: "I wish my name would get in the monicker. I could use the bump." Romney already has been targeted by a fuzzy-tailed "varmint" -- a tribute to Romney's hunting skills -- and a porpoise calling himself "flipper."

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Iowa Voice: [Fred] Thompson May Participate In Straw Poll

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice
If Thompson does get in on this, then it gives the results some legitimacy, no matter who ends up winning. With McCain and Giuliani backing out (for reasons I talked about here), it made the poll worthless to the winner (which was clearly going to be Romney). McCain and Giuliani knew, in my opinion, that they had no chance to win this thing, so they decided to skip it and take their lumps for it. But those lumps are minor when you compare what they took away from Romney, and that's the ability to crow about his win. He can't go out now and say "I won the straw poll!" because they'll just say "Well, duh! Of COURSE you won, we weren't in it!" McCain and Giuliani have, for all intents and purposes, abandoned Iowa voters. They haven't really established a presence here in the state and they've barely set foot on Iowa soil. ... On a side note, one thing that's surprising me is that I haven't heard much, if anything, from the media or the other campaigns about McCain's flip-flop. Remember, he said in early May that he was going to participate in the straw poll…and now he's not. He used Giuliani's decision as the cover, but it's clear he was wanting out from the get-go. If he wants to win Iowa, he's going about it the wrong way.

Joe Republican: Will Giuliani & McCain Skip the Caucuses Too?

Excerpted from this post at Joe Republican
... the Straw Poll gives Iowans a reason to pick a candidate early on, and thus, gives campaigns the names, phone numbers, and addresses of thousands of supporters across the state to turn out on Caucus Night. ... There is only one reason a candidate would not participate in the Straw Poll: They fear they don't have the support to do well. ... Giuliani's support may be high nationally, but his campaign has slipped in Iowa, because of a lack of staff to identify and cultivate relationships with supporters. ... Senator McCain's pullout is simple. His polling has been steady in Iowa, but he was probably having trouble identifying Straw Poll supporters to the tune that he could get beat by a "so called" second tier candidate. This would be disastrous for his campaign, and thus he took the first easy out from the Straw Poll he could find, following Rudy. The trouble is that McCain has one of the top staff's in Iowa, if not the nation. ... If they can't garner enough support for a strong showing at the Straw Poll, there's no logic that says they'd be able to magically find that support for the Caucus. ... Moreover, this is troubling for the Republican Party of Iowa. This is their biggest fundraiser, without which, they will have a hard time funding the efforts it will take to succeed in 2008.

Cyclone Conservatives: Political & Presidential Pastiche

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
... Republican Party of Iowa's Strange Communication Behavior: I received another release yesterday from RPI commending Senator Sam Brownback for his committment to the August 11 Ames Straw Poll. While I also commend the Senator and his campaign for committing to this fine event, I am wondering why RPI doesn't add other candidates to that statement or send out other statements commending the other candidates who are committing. Where's the kudos to such campaigns, for example, of Tom Tancredo and Mitt Romney who recently made strong statements backing the August 11 event? Sure there are some that are still 'on the fence' about the event but why not thank all instead of just one? At the same time, last week, they sent out a scathing release decrying the campaign of Rudy Giuliani for skipping the event. Where was a similar statement decrying the McCain and Gilmore campaigns for bailing on the event? I think when the State Party starts signaling out candidates in a PRIMARY, it is very dangerous. Don't we have more important things to be doing like telling the truth about the opposition? And no, Rudy Giuliani is not the opposition. I would say do all or don't do it at all.

John Deeth Blog: DFA's Role in Democratic Party Evolving

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
An organization growing out of a defeated presidential campaign might have seemed likely for a quick fizzle. Yet in the three-plus years since Howard Dean's presidential campaign, Democracy For America -- originally Dean For America -- has flourished. ... Alta Price of the Quad Cities DFA organization told Iowa Independent she had never caucused before supporting Dean in 2004. ... Could a scenario develop where DFA could endorse, for example, a Green candidate over a Democrat in a partisan race? "DFA doesn't have to toe the line," said Price. "I don't think our first loyalty is to the Democratic Party – it's to progressives and progressive issues." ... "You can be Genghis Khan and still be a Democrat," said former gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon. He sees a key difference between liberals – "who want an activist government and like to spend money" – and progressives: "A progressive puts people before profit, and has the interest of the general public as a greater priority than corporations." ... "The corporate element of the Democratic Party needs to be replaced by true progressives who aren't afraid," said Fallon, noting that DFA has a role to play in that change.

The South of Iowa: Finished with planting

Excerpted from this post at The South of Iowa
... Tonight around dinner time I got a call from the Clinton 2008 campaign. The caller wanted to talk to me, as I am on the board of the Iowa Farmers Union. He wanted to see if I had any questions about Hillary's ag policies. ... I further told him that while the IFU is typically a left-leaning organization, I was the odd ball conservative in the group, and that there was no way in h___ that I would ever vote for his candidate. Furthermore, I told him if she is elected president, I'd consider moving out of the country or work on a secession plan for southern Iowa to remove itself from the Union/Estrogen-based Dictatorship.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Political Fallout: Is America ready for another bald president?

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

Americans and the media have always been obsessed with the "haves" and the "have nots," and this goes without saying when it comes to John Edwards' hair and his $400 haircut. A recent FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll asked telephone interviewees: 'Do you happen to know which presidential candidate has been in the news recently for paying $400 for a haircut?' The only answers proffered by the interviewer were the top three Democratic candidates, followed by two of my favorite responses to all poll questions: "Other" and "Don't Know;" although my favorite and standard response is "Don't Care." The results showed that roughly 46 percent of the respondents did not know about Edwards' $400 haircut, which, as Greg Sargent pointed out on TPM Cafe, is 4 percent less than the number who knew that Saddam did not have WMD when we invaded Iraq. But as FOX News very well knows, we cannot begin muddling viewers' lives with facts. In the television news business, Weapons of Mass Deception are vital in winning the ratings war. Facts are major downers and a literal turn off to the television masses.

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Essential Estrogen: It's just a little right, right?

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Granted, Marie Claire has had issues with progressives. I was still a little knocked off balance, however, by their interview with presidential hopeful and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. After the whole evolution hand-raising incident I should not have been shocked when Huckabee told the magazine that women in short skirts are just asking for it. Q: I read that you're against miniskirts. A: If a person dresses provocatively, they're calling attention - maybe not the most desirable kind - to private parts of their body. Ignoring for a moment that some Christians in our nation believe a woman in "men's clothing" (i.e., pants) is an abomination in the eyes of God, which leaves us ladies who wish to not incite acts of sexual violence and remain pious with only a choice of long skirts... probably without a slit on the side or back for easy walking. The fact of the matter is that anyone who dresses outside the norm for a given situation is calling attention to him or herself.

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The Real Sporer: Chairman's Picnic - the General, the Senator and...

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

...cast of thousands, well a couple of hundred anyway, were in attendance at tonight's Chairman's Picnic held at RPI HQ on East Ninth in Des Moines. The political headliners were candidates Sam Brownback and John Cox. Hugh Cort and Dan Gilbertson, who are also running for President, were also in attendance. Dr. Cort was handing out literature about his candidacy. Sam Brownback looks much younger and much more animated in person. Sen. Brownback spoke after Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney. A smart politician knows how to read an audience and Sam kept his remarks both short and up beat, perfect for a warm evening. He also knew that now was the time to publicly reaffirm his commitment to the Straw Poll and an intensive Iowa grass roots campaign. Sam got two very loud ovations, the tonic that salves the wounds all of us politicians, large and small. If he doesn't win I'd sure like to see the next Republican President nominate Sam Brownback for the Supreme Court, he certainly makes among the most logical legal arguments for his positions. We could certainly use that kind of clarity in the Federal common law, that's for sure. John Cox echoed his familiar themes of a Reaganesque strength abroad and prosperity through less government at home.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Live Blogging PIN Conference: Loebsack, Bolkcom, Fallon, O'Brien

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
... It is Ed Fallon's turn. ... Some issues that need to be addressed in Iowa are CAFO's. We can't be spending more time in task forces, we need to take action on this issue and if not it might be a very, very short tenure for Democrats in the legislature. Voluntary public financing is the key. If that is passed, we can see progress on many other issues because it cuts out the moneyed interests. Gronstal even voted for campaign finance reform 3 times back in the early 90's. Fallon thanks Rep. Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) for her work on this issue. He says the VOICE bill has a chance to be the best law in the nation because it takes into account and fixes problems similar bills have had in Maine and Arizona. ... Denise O'Brien is speaking now. ... She says she was disapointed with the outcome of the election, but has recovered. She mentions the nasty attacks that were made at the end of the campaign. She had been an activist for many years, but decided to make the change and run for office and she hasn't ruled out running again. That comment got large applause from the audience. ... She goes off on aside and asks what can we do about Sioux County. She says her opponent had 10,000 more votes there. We must think about local economies, local food, and local businesses. These are our roots and where are values and families are and they must be strong for small towns to survive.

Cyclone Conservatives: Tom Tancredo's Sioux City Immigration Forum

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
... Tancredo's speech was really high octane. His entire speech was about immigration in some manner but as always, he connected it to other issues. Much of it focused on the immigration bill, which he proudly trumpeted as being 'killed' for now. Though he cautioned the attendees that it could well come back and warned that President Bush would be trying to twist as many arms as possible. ... He also read documents put out by the government that are intended to be used as a citizenship test and noted all the misspellings and grammar mistakes and noted that English should be the official language but not even the people in the government could use it properly, to which he got plenty of laughs. He also started talking about how this would affect the culture of the United States and how the English language is the glue which keeps the country together and strongly warned against those who want to make America bilingual. ... He urged primary challenges for Republicans who supported the "McCain-Kennedy-Bush" bill and urged people to stand up to Democrats and also to keep writing letters to the editor, talking to friends and family, and especially contacting members of Congress.

Bleeding Heartland: Register fails to call bulls**t on Tancredo

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
We've known for a long time that Tancredo is a one-trick pony, playing on the right wing's resentment against Spanish-speaking immigrants, fanned by the conservative hate radio machine. But I hadn't realized before reading this article that Tancredo actually blames immigrants for every problem plaguing America. Tancredo seems to think the main problem in our education system is the hordes of illegal immigrants whose children flood our schools. Nowhere in the article do I see a hint that a reporter asked him about what percentage of our school districts serve a significant population of illegal immigrants. The last straw for me was this passage: "Tancredo touched briefly on what he said was the increased number of vaccine-resistant diseases being introduced into the United States from other countries, then forged ahead to what he said is illegal immigration's impact on national security." This is loathsome propaganda designed to dehumanize immigrants among the Republican electorate. Maybe the reporter or the DM Register's editors think that "what he said was" is sufficient to suggest to the reader that Tancredo's claim might not be true. But this was crying out for a follow-up by the correspondent--what vaccine-resistant diseases is Tancredo talking about? Are there any?

The Real Sporer: Preliminary Straw Poll Ballot Set

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
The Republican State Central Committee voted today to include the following announced candidates names on the Ames Straw Poll Ballot:
SAM BROWNBACK
JOHN COX
JIM GILMORE
RUDY GIULIANI
MIKE HUCKABEE
DUNCAN HUNTER
JOHN McCAIN
RON PAUL
MITT ROMNEY
TOM TANCREDO
TOMMY THOMPSON
Any other credible candidate will be considered when appropriate. Good luck fellas.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Political Forecast: Maybe It's Time to Look at Relevance of Straw Poll

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Now that Republican presidential front-runners John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have said they'll skip the Aug. 11 Iowa GOP Straw Poll, the party's top fund-raising and early-testing event for the January Caucuses, the big question is what's next? Iowa GOP officials still expect the Straw Poll to be well-attended, particularly since folks like former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich plan on being there. The possibility of Fred Thompson entering the competition could energize uncommitted, and even new, activists to come out. Depending on whom you ask, the decision by the Giuliani and McCain campaigns was either a good one or a bad one, for varying reasons. Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen said on his blog: "The Ames straw poll has become a shake-down of candidates that, for some, has replaced the caucuses themselves as a test of viability. Minor candidates are forced to spend valuable resources on doing well in the poll. That's because in past cycles single digit candidates who fail to do well in it have sometimes been forced to drop out of the race because their fund-raising dries up." Polk County Republican Chairman Ted Sporer wrote on his blog: "Of course, I too am baffled at the logic that would lead to the conclusion that the Ames Straw Poll would not have benefited their respective candidacies."

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The Corn Beltway Boys: Whiny Republicans

Excerpted from this post at The Corn Beltway Boys

This is why when I refill out my voter identification card, I seriously doubt I will list myself as Republican. While most of my beliefs are rooted in conservatism, the Republican party has become a shell of itself and frankly no longer worthy of my support. The harsh profanity on CBB isn't reserved just for liberals, it cuts both ways. But first, the press release from the Iowa Republican party whining about Rudy not spending millions of dollars for a one day event in Ames. You would think by the tone of the letter that Giuliani was skipping Iowa all together. I was going to compare the letter from the Iowa Republican party to that of a jilted lover, but then I realized they have never loved Rudy. Their relationship is more like that of a john and a dime store hooker. When they need a crowd or a draw, invite Rudy. Otherwise rip him and his stances on unimportant issues. Yes I said unimportant. Because if you believe gay marriage and abortion come before about 20 - 30 other issues facing this nation then I got a few things to discuss with you that should keep you awake at night. And no it's not Will and Grace reruns.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bloggers react to Giuliani, McCain skipping Ames straw poll

Click below to read how Iowa bloggers reacted to the news that Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are out of the state Republican Party's straw poll in Ames, plus the news that Mitt Romney is still in.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Is Loebsack Vulnerable in 2008?

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
Political analyst Larry Sabato released a list of 15 Freshman Congressman that are vulnerable in 2008. ... One of the 15 Congressman named is Iowa's 2nd District Representive, Dave Loebsack. Here is what Sabato says about Loebsack ... "Rep. Dave Loebsack, an ex-Political Science professor (quite a noble profession we must note), defeated ex-Rep. Jim Leach in 2006, taking advantage of the Democratic wave that even swept away Leach who voted against the Iraq use of force resolution. Leach was primarily a victim of party ID in a district that favored each of the past two Democratic presidential nominees by double digit margins." ... I disagree with Sabato that Leach was a better fit for the district than Loebsack. IA-02 is one of the heaviest leaning Democratic districts in the country. Leach was a Republican, Loebsack is a Democrat, it is that simple. So it seems that Sabato thinks Loebsack has a good shot of being challenged in 2008 in a Democratic Primary. This isn't that surprising since there might have been some people thinking about running, but never thought Leach could be beat. Now that Loebsack has taken down Leach, they might think it is their shot.

Essential Estrogen: Ya Es Hora!

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd (from Connecticut) have agreed to participate in a presidential candidate debate conducted in Spanish. The debate is scheduled for Sept. 9 at the University of Miami and will be hosted by Univision Communications, Inc., the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcaster. The network's programming is available in most Iowa markets via cable and satellite television. Univision press statements indicate this is the first presidential debate conducted in Spanish. Simultaneous translation, however, would be provided to candidates and viewers. ... As Alexander Bolton aptly points out this places many of the hopefuls -- especially the 'frontrunners' -- in a bind. Candidates fluent in Spanish would speak directly to the audience in that language. Non-speakers would have their responses translated. ... The company has invited Republican presidential candidiates to a debate -- also in Spanish -- on Sept. 16. There is no word yet on which candidates, if any, will appear.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Iowa Voice: New Hampshire Debate: Detailed Analysis And Who Won

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice
... getting down to the nitty gritty ... who won? I don't think there was a real winner, here -- at least not in the traditional sense. If anything, I'd say that Romney won because he didn't do anything to shoot himself in the foot and damage his standings in the polls. Which, when you're the frontrunner, is goal #1. He did that last night. Who was the loser? Again, it was so evenly matched that I'm hard-pressed to say who lost this round. I even have to (grudgingly) concede that Ron Paul did ok. He kept his conspiracy theories and whackiness mostly to himself last night and avoided a repeat of the last debate (here), and that's only going to help him. McCain spoke very well about Iraq, but he's totally screwed when it comes to this immigration bill. Rudy had some very good points about health care, but his abortion stand is only going to hurt him among hard-core conservatives. You get the picture. So for me, it was a Romney win…but only because he didn't do anything to hurt his chances. The rest, I'd have to say, all finished tied for second.

More debate coverage:

-- John Deeth Blog: Republican Debate: Couch Potato Liveblog

-- The Real Sporer: GOP Debate Round 3 Review

-- Iowa Independent: GOP Debate: McCain wins varsity, Huckabee the JV

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John Deeth Blog: Hillary Shakes Up Staff, Not War Stance

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
It's no secret that the Clinton camp has had a bumpy road in Iowa. Polls show her bouncing between second and third with Barack Obama here despite running first nationally, and the campaign very publicly considered the Screw Iowa Strategy a couple weeks ago in order to very publicly reject it. The over-the-top sign war at Saturday's Hall of Fame dinner makes it clear she intends to compete here. So, what's the problem? One could blame overthinking Iowa caucusgoers for focusing on "electability" -- we are, after all, the ones who derailed the Howard Dean candidacy. ... There's also the accusation of good old fashioned sexism -- we'll hear more and more that Iowa and Mississippi are the only two states who have never elected a woman as governor or to Congress. ... But strategy and history are asides. Perhaps Iowans are judging all candidates on their own merits, in the context of the era's leading issue, the war in Iraq. And here is where Hillary Clinton has her problem.

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Essential Estrogen: Richardson Waters the Grass Roots

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
Saturday was an interesting day of dualities in Cedar Rapids. On one hand, you had this huge, commercially oriented banquet being held at a downtown hotel. ... Just a few blocks down the road, however, there was this amazing, family-friendly festival known as the Cedar Rapids Pride Fest. ... Even when New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the only presidential hopeful to appear in person at the festival, made his appearance, the festival and it's population didn't change. Instead of being mauled by a hungry crowd, he moved to shake hands with those attending. He graciously signed copies of his book and even bottles of the salsa that bear his name and image. ... Early in the day, rumors flew that both Gov. Richardson and Sen. Hillary Clinton would be dropping by. Once I spotted Clinton's Iowa Campaign Manager JoDee Winterhof in the crowd without the senator; however, I knew we'd not be seeing Clinton in person. ... In addition to Clinton and Richardson, candidates John Edwards, Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Joe Biden were in town Saturday to attend the Iowa Hall of Fame dinner. Only one, however, took time to brave the intermittent rain and speak in person to those who attended the Pride Fest: Gov. Bill Richardson.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

From DC2Iowa: UI Held Hostage Day 500 - "Whaaa?"

Excerpted from this post at From DC2Iowa
Folks, this is Day 500. ... What might have been. It has been 500 days since the Iowa Board of Regents has known that those who desired the departure of one of America's preeminent university presidents had achieved their wish. ... Could we have had a smooth transition a full year ago, putting a new UI president in place the day Skorton left, at the end of the 2006 spring semester? Absolutely. Search Committee II, which first met in January of this year, and has scheduled on-campus interviews with finalists next week, has just demonstrated that one spring semester is enough to conduct and conclude a search. At the end of Search Committee I's work, four finalists emerged. Among them was UI Provost Mike Hogan. ... Had he been selected one full year ago not only would we have avoided the national and international embarrassment of the past 500 days, we would have had a very smooth transition indeed from June 30 to July 1 of 2006. ... Now, a mere six months later, Search Committee II includes three provosts among its final five (not four), and Hogan -- one of four finalists last time, "and by some accounts the favorite" -- is not among them? To paraphrase the TV public service announcement, "What were they thinking?"

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Bleeding Heartland: Public Policy Polling shows Edwards and Romney leading

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
Chris Bowers has the numbers on the Democratic side at MyDD: Iowa, May 30, 1,238 likely caucus goers, MoE 2.7%. No trendlines. Edwards: 31; Clinton: 17; Obama: 17 ... I don't know whether Clinton and Obama are really that far back in Iowa, but I think it's fair to say that the recent ARG poll showing Clinton 31, Edwards 26 and Obama 11 was an outlier. ... I imagine that Obama does quite well among the "only have a cell phone" crowd, so polls may be understating his support. But if I were Obama, I would fire the scheduler who put him at a west-coast fundraiser instead of in Cedar Rapids on Saturday night. That was a crazy decision. He's rolling in money and is probably going to outraise Clinton in the second quarter. He's trailing in the Iowa polls and should have taken that opportunity to make the sale with party activists. Ordinary voters won't care a bit about who came to the Hall of Fame dinner. But every one of the 1,000 people who attended can probably influence at least a dozen friends and neighbors.

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Popular Progressive: Instant (Voter Registration) Kharma Gonna Get You

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive
Auditors around Iowa are concerned about the cost of same-day, instant voter registration. In Johnson county, it is estimated that it will cost an extra $20,000 to bring in 100 extra people to staff the polls. It is also projected that 10% more voters will show up at the polls to vote on election day. Depending on the type of election, this works out to add between $3 per vote (based on the 2004 Johnson county presidential election turnout) and $51 per vote (for the 2005 county school board election) to the expense of the auditor's office.* (This assumes 1) the same amount of workers regardless of election-type and 2) the same % turnout increase)

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Cyclone Conservatives: Exclusive: 10 Questions for Dr. Mark Klein

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
Don: Why do you believe the GOP should get behind you and make you our nominee? Dr. Klein: I am the only person who can save the GOP's bacon. The party's "approved" candidates are political retreads owned and operated by the mega money interests financing their campaigns. None have a ghost of a chance to beat Clinton, Obama, or Edwards. I am a genuine idealist who not only talks the Republican talk, and I'll walk the Republican walk as President by insisting among other things on budgetary restraint and much more modest foreign policy ... Don: What innovative ideas do you have for health care in America? Dr. Klein: ... We must do something about the obesity driven diabetes and heart disease epidemic. My guess is 80% of Iowans of all ages are overweight. ... Publisher's Note: This is the first in a series of interviews I have conducted with many of the GOP candidates for President that certainly do not have the money, name recognition, and exposure that the others have. While they clearly have long-shots at the White House, I think it is interesting to see why they have decided to run and learn more about who they really are.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The South of Iowa: Mike Huckabee, my new favorite presidential candidate

Excerpted from this post at The South of Iowa
... And although it is still early in the presidential race, my interest has now turned to the former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. I've heard his soundbites from the various debates, especially in regards to John Edwards' haircut. But more importantly, I've researched him through his webpage and other sites. Here's what I like about Huckabee: 1) He was a Baptist minister before getting into politics. He is a Christian, not backing down on his faith, but also not flaunting it, like Pat Robertson did years ago. 2) He is pro-life through and through. 3) He understands what the 2nd Amendment really is; not to protect hunters, but to provide self-defense and protection from tyranny. 4) He wants to secure our borders and is against the current immigration bill (but then again, who isn't?) 5) He will work for energy independence. One thing that I am unsure on, however, is his favor of the Fair Tax. Maybe I don't understand the workings of this plan quite yet, but the way I see it, it moves the burden of collecting taxes from the IRS to the retailers.

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Blog for Iowa: 5,000 Iowans Pledge to Caucus for Priorities

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
.. With more committed supporters than any presidential campaign at this stage in the game, the Caucus for Priorities Project is celebrating another major milestone: 5,000 pledges. Throughout the state, people are putting their Priorities first when it comes to who they will support in January 2008. ... Pledgers promise to attend their precinct Caucus and back a candidate who supports a significant shift in federal spending away from wasteful Pentagon spending toward other priorities such as education, health care, job training, renewable energy development, and deficit reduction.

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Back roads to the White House: 2010: Tancredo's fallback?

Excerpted from this post at Back roads to the White House
The first head-to-head debate in Colorado's 2010 U.S. Senate race will have to wait. For a time on Friday, it looked as if Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, and Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, were destined to square off on a nationally-televised, Sunday morning talk show. But alas, Salazar will be on CBS News' "Face the Nation" broadcast and Tancredo will not. Before the joint appearance fell through, the thought of a head-to-head appearance made Tancredo and his staff enthusiastic to say the least. ... Yes, Tancredo currently is making a long-shot run for president. But there's at least a slim chance he won't win. A future run for the U.S. Senate appears to be his back-up plan. [Tancredo spokesman] Espinosa describes a Tancredo-Salazar contest as the congressman's dream match-up. ... Tancredo has long expressed an interest in a U.S. Senate seat -- even before he began his decidedly uphill march for the 2008 Republican nomination. But wait. How could Tancredo run for the Senate if he's living in the White House in 2010? "He'll do what's best for Colorado," Espinosa said, laughing. "If that's what it is, that's what it is."

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Resurrected For You And For Me

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

It is alive! Those who were around Iowa in 2004 may remember the First in the Nation web site put together by the Iowa Department of Economic Development: IowaCaucus.org. Yup, someone took the old girl into the back room, fluffed up her dress, applied some new war paint and sent her back out to the greeting line. This morning Gov. Chet Culver's office announced the launch of the site, now dubbed "Iowa Caucus 2008: First in the Nation." It will once again serve as a statewide, non-partisan resource for news media, campaign staff and the public on the caucus, Iowa quality of life and something called "Iowa's new economy." Iowa ranks 'first in the nation' in the production of ethanol, E-85 and biodiesel fuels, and is third in wind energy production. The state was also ranked first by Forbes Magazine in overall quality of life. "The Iowa Caucuses give us an opportunity to showcase the state's strengths on a world stage," Culver said in a released statement.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Senator McCain's "Dual-Message" Advertisement

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I was reading a story on the Weekly Standard website tonight and in the middle of most of the stories, Senator McCain's campaign has been running advertisements. They are slightly animated and they either ask for readers to 'sign a petition' against some sort of liberal position or to join the Senator's Campaign. Both of which are designed to help their campaign by getting your information. Very standard campaign tactics. However, this one particular advertisement caught my attention. For the wrong reasons, I might add. The ad asks, "Outraged by Pork?" Well, Senator, I am definitely outraged by pork-barrel spending but I certainly am not against the pork on my grill or the purebred Chester Whites and Durocs on my farm. I know that most people refer to excessive government spending and waste as 'pork'; however, it also just struck me as poor messaging.

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Back Roads to the White House: 'Enforce the law,' he says

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

"I must admit to you that the solution I bring to you, I know, is very controversial, it's very scary when I say it. People cringe - oh my goodness, he can't really mean this. This can't really be the answer, but I assure you it is. Summed up in three words: enforce the law." Rep. Tom Tancredo made that statement at the Iowa Republican Party's Abraham Lincoln Unity Dinner in Des Moines in April. He uses the line everywhere he goes while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. So what is he talking about enforcing? Apparently not mandatory seatbelt laws. Check out this video of a rolling interview that's posted on Tancredo's presidential campaign web site. He's driving and talking at the same time. See if you can tell us which portion of the tape shows evidence that Tancredo is wearing a seat belt. We couldn't find one, so we called Tancredo's people.

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